Department History

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Bozeman Fire Department History –

The City of Bozeman is served by the Bozeman Fire Department which is a full-time career fire department founded in 1884. There are currently 46 uniformed firefighters, fully staffing 3 fire stations, which house 3 engines (1 reserve), 1 ladder truck, 2 brush trucks, 1 HazMat unit, and 2 Medic Units. The Bozeman Fire Department responded to 4,316 emergency calls in 2016, up from 3919 in 2015 and are on target to break 5,000 in 2017

Bozeman Fire Department serves the City of Bozeman which encompasses approximately 24 square miles and includes the campus of Montana State University.  The University seasonally adds approximately 15,421 people to our fulltime growing population of approximate 40,000 residents.

With approximately 8 miles of interstate I-90 passing through our community we're a gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone Club, Bridger Bowl, and Big Sky Ski Resorts and often see an influx measuring in the thousands with daily tourists and vacationers traveling by both car and air.

Our valley is also the home to Montana's busiest airport; Bozeman/Yellowstone International with the most in bound flights of both commercial and private jets in the state. 

Located close to Yellowstone National Park and its many natural attractions we are also placed in a high fault zone for earth quakes and their subsequent possibly tragic aftermath with structural collapse and entrapment.

Bozeman Fire Department is also recognized as 1 of 6 regional HazMat teams serving the state and operate with approximately 18 HazMat technicians for both city calls, and regionally as requested by Mutual Aid.

With Bozeman Fires fast growing community  we're currently conducting an updated Fire Protection Plan looking in to the next 3-5 years.

Bozeman Fire Stats:

Fire Stations: 3,  fully staffed 24/7/365

Fire Engines: 2 staffed, 1 reserve

Fire Trucks:    1 staffed

Ambulances: 2, staffed as needed to support AMR (our local ambulance service.)

Hazardous Materials: 1 Truck w/ trailer

Brush Engines: 2

2016 response call volume: 4,316Staff:  46 Career

1889 Silsby Steamer Sweet Pea 2017 2

Bozeman Fires original 1889 Silsby steamer.  The Steamer cost was $4,000 from Silsby manufacturing Co. of Seneca Falls, NY. This purchase was was prompted after a fire in December of 1887 that caused $50,0000 in damage to seventeen buildings and a few minor injuries, partly attributable to the failure of the city's hand-operated water pump to properly operate.

This is one of forty known "modern" Silsby engines in existence, and it feature the original nickel plating.  The last Silsby steam engine and water pump was built in 1905.  The Steamer is know owned by Bozeman Firefighters IAFF L613.

Interesting Dates in Bozeman Fire History

  • February 22, 1884 Bozeman Hook and Ladder Company #1 founded and housed in the Bozeman Opera House.
  • February 4, 1885 Alpha Hose Company and Rescue Engine Company were founded.
  • January 1889 Silsby Steam Fire Engine arrived. (now owned and maintained by Bozeman IAFF local 613)
  • December 13, 1889 Omega Hose Company founded.
  • 1922 Ernie Robinson died at a fire in downtown Bozeman. This is the only fire fighter fatality in the history of the Bozeman Fire Department.
  • 1955 Received first ladder truck.
  • 1964 Fire House 1 opens.
  • 1974 Fire House 2 opens.
  • 1987 Ladder 1 is delivered (LTI)
  • 1998 Delivery of Engine 1 a General (Custom) pumper (since sold)
  • 2004 Delivery of Engine 2 Pierce dash pumper (put into reserve status in 2014)
  • 2005 Bozeman receives Hazardous Material response trailer and crew cab tow vehicle as a regional response team.
  • 2009 Fire House 3 opens on the corner of Vaquero and Davis.
  • 2010 Delivery of New Engine 2 a 2009 Sutphen pumper.
  • 2011 Delivery of New Engine  1 a 2010 Sutphen pumper.
  • 2012 Delivery of New Hazardous Materials response truck.
  • 2014 Delivery of New Truck 3 a 2014 Sutphen midmount tower truck.
  • 2014 Delivery of New Spill Response Trailer for Hazardous Materials
  • 2016 Delivery of used Ambulance used for back up and HazMat team


Brief History of the Bozeman Fire Department (PDF)

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